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Using MiniGames™ To Drive Open-Book Leadership At H-E-B

Oct 17, 2019 by Darren Dahl 1 Comment
“Open-book management” was one of the popular phrases that got applied to the leadership system, The Great Game of Business®, that Jack Stack and his associates at SRC created back in 1983. But as Stack himself has said many times, most people don’t like to be managed. They like to be lead instead. In that spirit, perhaps it’s time we start thinking of the Great Game as a form of what we might call “open-book leadership.” A fantastic example of open-book leadership in action comes from the front lines of a grocery store in Austin, Texas—H-E-B. Starting back in 2016, the large grocery chain began sending managers and employees—who H-E-B calls “partners”—to the Gathering of Games conference to help inspire them in rolling out Great Game™ practices throughout the company.
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Why Has Profit Become a Bad Word (And What Can We do About It)?

Oct 4, 2019 by Darren Dahl 0 Comments
The word profit can mean many things to many people—especially in our current political climate. But for an increasing number of folks, profit has become a negative term—a dirty word—which has huge implications for the economic sustainability for businesses across the world.  At a time when company values and purpose have gone mainstream, and when even the Business Roundtable has begun prioritizing stakeholders over shareholders, the basics of what goes into making a profit has come under fire.
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Get Ready Now for the Economic Upturn in 2020

Sep 27, 2019 by Darren Dahl 0 Comments
More and more news stories these days center around the R-word: recession. It certainly came up often enough at the 2019 Gathering of Games—including in Jack Stack’s keynote speech. There are plenty of warning signs to catch your attention. The list of potential culprits as to who or what might bring the country’s economic expansion to a halt ranges from tariffs and trade wars to increasingly long lead times and historically low unemployment rates. What’s interesting is that Stack and his team at the SRC family of companies have been forecasting a recession to hit in 2019 or 2020 for the past 10 years—a process they kicked off right after the last recession just about obliterated the economy. Part of the rationale behind that forecast was experience:
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Why You Need to Connect Your People To Your Strategy

Sep 18, 2019 by Darren Dahl 0 Comments
A few years ago, the executives at banking giant Wells Fargo issued a new strategy for their business: the overall goal was to create long-term banking relationships with their customers. And to measure how well the company was executing on that strategy, they began tracking “cross-selling.” In other words, employees would be measured, and rewarded, based on the number of different accounts—from deposits and credit cards to auto loans and mortgages—a customer opened with the bank. The CEO at the time even coined a slogan: “eight is great” to illustrate the optimum number of accounts a customer might have with the bank.  On paper, you could argue that the more accounts a customer had would likely equate with a longer-term relationship with the bank. But, if you’ve been paying attention to the news for the past few years, you know that things went spectacularly wrong. 
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An Emotional 2019 Gathering of Games

Sep 12, 2019 by Darren Dahl 1 Comment
When John Costello took the stage on the second day of the 27th Annual Gathering of Games conference, he had already won a bet with his wife, who happened to be in the audience. Costello, the CEO of Cherry’s Industrial, had wagered that it might only be a few minutes into his talk before he’d start crying. He was right. But the tears that Costello shed on stage—which then quickly spread among the 700 rapt audience members—weren’t tears of sadness. They were tears of relief; freedom from a heavy burden that he had been carrying on his shoulders for years.
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How To Make the Most of Your Great Game Story

Jul 2, 2018 by Darren Dahl 0 Comments
Everybody loves a great story. So what’s yours? The benefits of good storytelling ripple out from gaining exposure to new customers, partners, and even employees—all of whom may be inspired to join your cause. Your story should be part of your brand and, at a minimum, be part of your website. But you don’t have to stop there. You can also use your story to connect with the media, or as an internal tool to help on-board new employees to help them understand what your company culture is all about.
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How a Manufacturer Is Using Open-Book Management to Reinvent Public School Education

Jul 16, 2015 by Darren Dahl 0 Comments
About Innotec The founders of Innotec, a manufacturer based in Zeeland, Michigan, wove the open-book principles of The Great Game of Business into the DNA of their business right from the get-go in 1992. “We based our organization on the same practices that SRC uses,” says Nick deVries, Innotec’s head of finance. “We want to give ownership and the information needed to make decisions directly to the people doing the work.”
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About The Great Game of Business

Our approach to running a company was developed to help close one of the biggest gaps in business: the gap between managers and employees. We call our open-book approach The Great Game of Business. What lies at the heart of The Game is a very simple proposition: The best, most efficient, most profitable way to operate a business is to give everybody in the company a voice in saying how the company is run and a stake in the outcome. Let us teach you how to develop a culture of ownership, where employees think, act and feel like owners.